Radio star

Greg Glover is a former record label talent scout from New York City turned Portland Radio DJ. His weekend show, The Bottom 40, has been on the air for more than 12 years. Glover calls the show “nondenominational radio” and uses it to feature new music and deep tracks from alternative artists. Now, the show plays on KJIV, 89.1 FM, in the Truckee Meadows on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. KJIV is a division of Open Sky Radio. RN&R writer Bruce Van Dyke is a board member.

How did the show end up on air in Reno?

My best friend here in Portland is Franz Spielvogel, and he is the CEO of Laughing Planet. He went to school at UNR and lived in Reno. And he now lives here in Portland. … He was a fan of The Bottom 40, so he reached out via email and we met up for a beer and we just became friends. … When he was in college there in Reno he worked for … a restaurant that was called Deux Gros Nez. … and the place was owned by Tim Healion. … They have been lifelong friends. The way it came full circle is, Duex Gros Nez ended up closing, and now Tim actually works for Laughing Planet. He now works for Franz. … And I listened to it while I was there, and I was like, “Wow, this is like radio used to be, like radio should be. It’s pretty radical.” … Tim put me in touch with Jeff Cotton who is one of the guys that runs the radio station. I told him about my program … and he loved it. And Franz was like, “Why don’t we underwrite the program at Laughing Planet? … Let’s support their radio station by underwriting your radio show.”

What does nondenominational radio mean?

I was raised by a single mom in Alabama. … I spent my summers visiting my dad out in Texas, and he was married to a fundamentalist Christian that wouldn’t let me listen to any rock music. So here I am as a kid growing up in Alabama, with my mom taking me to see KISS and Alice Cooper. And then I go out there for the summers and I can’t listen to any music. We would go to this church. … It was called a nondenominational church, like you couldn’t put labels on it. … And that word has just stuck with me all these years. And that’s kind of what I want the program to be. … It goes from one thing to the next … just kind of all encompassing. That was a long-winded way to say all encompassing.

Do you take requests?

Um, I’ve got some listeners that’ll email me … and they’ll make suggestions like, “Hey, I’ve never heard this.” … Or, “I heard you play this one song. Have you ever played this?” I’ll be like, “Oh, I haven’t heard that in a while. It’s a good suggestion. I’ll play it.” I’m always welcoming any sort of feedback.

You’ve done interviews on the show with some big names like Mick Jones of the Clash. Do you have a favorite interview?

Oh, absolutely. It has to be Noel Gallagher from Oasis. He was just—I was a little nervous because I was a big fan back in the day. … He could not have been a nicer, funnier guy. … That guy should host a late night show at some point. I mean, he is so funny. He was super charming, really nice. That’s probably my favorite that I’ve done. … Mick Jones of the Clash was pretty cool, too. That’s absolutely legendary. … Another one that was just super nice was Suggs [Graham McPherson] from the band Madness. You remember them? He was super nice, too.